Long Winding Road Trip Away From The Asylum Part Seven
I hope everyone's had an awesome weekend!
With so many projects ongoing, I might have to post a bit less often, but I promise I'll keep up at least twice a week. I won't forget you guys, you've been awesome, coming along this journey! xoxo
Carrying bags was near the top of the list of reasons to get everything delivered. That, and not being in a position to be gunned down by a mercenary that might not have gotten the memo about taking a hit on Wren being a bad idea. Or saw Lawson as an easy way to make a name for themselves. Wren kept an eye on Noah for any sign that there were threats, but other than keeping his own hands free, he seemed relaxed.
Up ahead, Reed walked backwards fast, a huge smile on his lips as he somehow managed several bags and a huge, plush Thor hammer that had been a compromise in exchange for the chair sized Pokemon he’d decided would look perfect in the loft he shared with Lawson, Matt, and Curtis. He’d seemed a bit disappointed at first, and Lawson had seemed ready to give in, looking to Noah for help.
Then Noah began to waver.
Telling anyone ‘No’ was difficult for Wren, but a bit easier when he considered how uncomfortable Reed would be after his surgery, trying to squeeze in beside the monstrosity. When he’d started to explain, he’d half expected to be overruled and one of the Doms to give in and find a way to manage that Wren hadn’t thought of.
But Reed accepted the explanation, agreeing that ordering the plush if everyone in his household liked the idea would work much better.
One small crisis averted.
Though, with the dozens of shirts Reed had grabbed, along with some other strange odds and ends, there would still need to be some adjustments made to the supplies. Once they reached the SUV, Wren set the bags near the trunk, rubbing at the red marks on his hands and doing his best to figure out how to make everything fit.
Taking his wrist, Noah lifted Wren’s hands, kissing first one palm, then the other. “I know that look, my little bird. Don’t stress about it. I’ve been through this before and I’m pretty good at improvising.” Opening the trunk, Noah shifted a few containers, pulling out several travel vacuum bags. The edge of his lips twitched when Lawson huffed out a laugh. “How’s that for the ‘unnecessary odds and ends’?”
“I’ll admit, they turned out to be useful.” Lawson leaned against the side of the SUV, scanning the parking lot as he fiddled with his new phone. One thing that had been good about Reed’s shopping spree was that by the time they reached the cell store the Dom seemed ready to agree to just about anything to get out of there as quickly as possible. He smiled warmly, taking a picture, then sending it to someone. Likely Matt. “And you were right, Wren. This has many uses. I’m going to order one for my boy. It’s a business expense and I think it’ll be very practical.”
Helping Noah move all his new clothes to the space savers, Reed glanced up and grinned at his Dom. “Word it exactly like that and he won’t be able to say you shouldn’t spend that kind of money on him.” He held up a shirt, letting the sunlight bounce off the multicolored sequins on it. “I’ve just destroyed all the savings I was going to have. But I don’t regret it one bit. Just because I’m going to feel like a slug, doesn’t mean I have to look like one.”
“That’s right.” Lawson stepped up behind Reed, crossing an arm over his chest and tipping his chin up to claim a kiss. “And you’ll see, the time will pass faster than you think and you’ll be back to yourself before you know it.”
Reed stared up into his Dom’s eyes. “Will you still love me if I’m not?”
The question wasn’t unexpected, but it still hurt to hear the doubt in Reed’s voice. At no point had he second-guessed going through with the transplant, but his insecurities had been getting worse with every mile. It wasn’t hard to see why. No matter how much love Noah, Tracey, or any of the people in his life had given Reed, the cruel way his father had abandoned him had left a lot of damage. Having to deal with the man again, even if it wasn’t face to face, was something Reed would struggle with until he could leave his father in the past again. Where he belonged.
Not hesitating, or showing any hurt that Reed would question what they shared, Lawson nodded and kissed him again. “I love you for more than how brightly you shine, my sparkly little wolf. I’ll love you even when you can’t make my day brighter with your smile, even when I can’t have the rush I feel when you burst into the room. I’ll miss it, don’t get me wrong. But I love you. All of you. And I’ll remind you of that as often as I need to because I’ll never mean it any less.”
Resting back against his Dom, Reed let out a happy sigh. “I never thought I’d be into all kinds of romantic stuff, but I could get used to it. Your voice makes it…” He shook his head, as though at a loss for words, but Lawson seemed to understand.
So did Wren. He folded another shirt, thinking of his own Doms. How the strength of their words, the depth of the meaning behind each one reached him on a level he couldn’t quite explain, but he knew was special. There had been Doms in his online relationships who’d said all the right things and made him believe that was how love was supposed to be, though he couldn’t feel anything from it. When he turned off the program, they were gone.
And so was he.
Maybe that was what stuck with Reed. The real life version of pushing a button and disappearing from someone’s thoughts. The awareness that all it would take for them to never turn it back on. Wren knew the thoughts and feelings he had weren't shared by everyone. Sometimes, they even confused others around him, which he was used to. He tried to remember to organize his thoughts in a way that would be clearer, but feelings weren’t so simple.
What if it was expected to turn those off when people weren’t around? It would save a lot of energy, but Reed didn’t seem to be able to manage it.
Neither can I. I...miss home. I miss Jared and Jamie. I even miss that darn cat that gets fur everywhere...
A knowing smile curved Noah’s lips as he swooped Wren up in his arms. He chuckled when Wren made a face, automatically trying to wiggle free because being picked up at random was impossible to get used to, even though he liked it when he could relax enough. “Oh no you don’t, my boy. Settle and let me be a little sappy, too. I’m enjoying this time with you. You’ve spent far too much of your life shut away. I won’t push to bring you out of your comfort zone any more than necessary, but I’m going to enjoy every second of you letting me draw you out a bit.”
Resting his arms around Noah’s neck, Wren managed to settle at his Doms command and take pleasure in the simple closeness. He combed his fingers into Noah’s hair, something he rarely dared, unsure if he should, but Noah’s actions seemed like an invitation to reach beyond the barriers often placed between a Dom and his sub. “I’m enjoying it very much, sir. Even the strange things, like watching Reed pick out all the clothes that will blind the members of The Asylum and getting sticks for marshmallows and hotdogs and carving them just right so they’re nice and smooth. I also liked watching Reed linedance, but trying to get to him so he didn’t get hurt and getting past all the breasts was very difficult. I’d like to not do that part again.”
With his every word, Noah’s eyes got a bit wider, until he spat out a laugh and shook his head. “Breasts? Where in the world did you two take off to?”
“We were going to a gay club and I kinda got us lost.” Reed ducked his head when Lawson let out a heavy sigh. “It turned out okay. We were safe. I managed to avoid a brawl by kissing the dude.” He pressed up against Lawson’s chest, giving him a sweet smile. “Aren’t you proud of me?”
“I’m tempted to take you over my knee at the moment.” Lawson patted Reed’s hip. “We’ll have to discuss you taking off without telling anyone, there’s still more risks than I’m comfortable with, and not just from aggravating the locals. Besides…” Lawson pressed Reed against the side of the SUV, giving him a bruising kiss that had Reed letting out a needy sound by the time he was done. “I decide who gets to touch any part of you. I’d rather not have to leave a trail of bodies along the way.”
Brow lifting slightly, Noah carried Wren to the rear passenger side of the SUV. He sat him inside and did up his seatbelt. “I was going to have you ride shotgun, but let’s keep those two seperated until we get to the next campground.”
Getting in beside him, Reed’s cheeks were a bit flushed. “Our Doms are evil.” He got a mischievous look in his eyes. “Sir, may I play with Wren since it’s going to be a long drive and you left me suffering?”
“No.” The answer came from both Doms as they slid into the front seats. Noah glanced at them over his shoulder. “Unless you want me fucking Lawson because sharing with my ward is something I don’t think I’ll ever be entirely comfortable with.”
Reed rested his head on Wren’s shoulder, trailing his fingers up and down Wren’s thigh in a way that made it hard to sit still. “You don’t have any trouble fooling around with Jared after he’s done with me.”
“But I never do it right after.” Noah pulled out of the lot, his tone making it clear he knew the boundaries he and Reed had drawn might seem strange, but he didn’t care. “And I plan to enjoy my own sub tonight, so hands off.”
It was rare at The Asylum that anyone in the core was particularly possessive, they saved that for outsiders, and Wren had never really understood the need for jealousy. Belonging to a Dom was simple. Who they shared with was entirely in their control and that felt secure. Safe.
The way Noah claimed him now brought back the feeling and he smiled a bit as Reed drew back with a huff, though he was grinning at Wren. Going a bit off their planned route had turned out well. What they’d gotten was more than an excessive amount of T-shirts.
One more moment where things were good. Everyone was happy.
Those could be so rare with the lives they lead. Even more rare when they all had reasons to long for home and the people who weren’t with them.
But this was still something they could share. An experience they could bring home with them, stronger bonds that were so important, times when they got to do more than survive.
Reaching this campground took a bit longer, but as they drove up one incline, then another, Wren took in the view of the mountain and understood why Noah had chosen this spot as one that was non negotiable for the trip. All along the horizon were rising slopes and valleys of mountains, softened with lush trees in different shades of green. The sun setting added hints of gold, painting a beautiful scene that even Wren, who’d never been a huge fan of the outdoors, couldn’t look away from.
They turned away from where most of the cars seemed to be going, Lawson and Noah getting into another debate about which road led to the best place to camp, which led to Noah turning at the last minute.
Still staring out the window, Wren spotted a black van slowing right after the turn and beginning to back up before the car behind it started honking. The bit of traffic on the larger road kept moving in the distance while Noah took several turns, obviously having been here before.
“Is this the one close to the small waterfall where me and Ez skinned our backs sliding down the rocks?” Reed leaned forward between the seats. “We had such a blast. You’re gonna love it, Lawson. I promise.” He bounced back and grabbed Wren’s hand. “There’s tons of privacy too, not a lot of people know about it, so you’ll enjoy the peace and quiet. I don’t give a fuck what I have to do, I’m going to make sure you want to take more road trips after this. And go camping and fishing and hiking and…”
Thunder rolled in the distance.
Reed groaned, covering his face with both Wren’s and his own hand. “This can’t be happening.”
Chuckling, Noah looked back at him as he parked just past the edge of the treeline, making sure the SUV was out of sight. “It’ll pass, my boy. And a bit of rain never hurt anyone.”
Maybe not, but Wren was less excited to leave the SUV as the rain began pattering down, wetting the earth and making the ground squelch under his shoes. There were a lot of things to take pleasure in, he wouldn’t deny that. But he wasn’t sure he’d ever get used to dealing with the one thing that had become the bane of his existence over the past few days.
All that mud.
He looked at the back of Lawson and Noah’s already mucked up jeans. Then Reed’s, which were even worse.
Yes, I could probably learn to like camping.
Lowering his gaze to his own jeans, he cringed.
If only it wasn’t so messy.
As always, comments welcome! At the end of each month when a serial like this is running, I'll choose one commenter to send merch from The Asylum to. This month, it'll be either a face mask or socks, winner's choice!
Winner will be chosen at random and announced before the first segment of each month. All comments made before then will be entered.
If you want to discuss spoilers or what you think might happen next, make sure to join the spoiler group HERE. Let's see who's paying attention. Winners will also be chosen from the group!